Kudos to the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) for releasing a recording of SA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fatima Hajaig's, revolting antisemitic remarks. The recording was played on e-TV last night (and 702 Talk Radio this morning) and the footage has since been uploaded to YouTube. It includes an interview with SAJBD Chairman, Zev Krengel.
So far it's only got 315 views. I call on other bloggers to post a link to the YouTube clip to increase its viewership.
Fatima's ugly remarks are again quoted below. It is in response to these abusive comments, that the SAJBD has laid a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.
|They in fact control [America]. No matter which government comes in to power, whether Republican or Democratic, whether Barack Obama or George Bush. The control of America, just like the control of most Western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money and if Jewish money controls their country then you cannot expect anything else”.|
Here's some other choice quotes from the Deputy Minister
|"Comrades know very well there has hardly been a day, not a single day in the last 60 years, 60 years – most of us were not born, I certainly was born, but many of you sitting there weren’t even born when the conflict in Palestine began.
So, within those 60 years there has not been a single day when a Palestinian has not been killed or injured by Israel. "
"The society that professes to respect human rights and the ethics of justice based on the Jewish religion. As I understand the Jewish religion its value system will not condone this. Therefore one has to ask the question, what has happened to the conscience of the Jewish people, of the Jewish society that allows the horrific carnage to continue to be inflicted on innocent people, most of whom are defenceless women and children."
Update - Stephen Friedman - an apologist for anti-Semitism?
One press report on the SAJBD's decision to take Fatima to the South African Human Rights Commission that caught my eye was the Business Day, who interviewed political analyst Stephen Friedman.
Friedman is an obsessive anti-Zionist loved by the local media. He describes the Deputy Minister's statements as "ill-advised" and "foolish" and has accused the SAJBD of using this as a red herring to divert attention from the "real issue". He has portrayed himself as an apologist for a canard that has historically been used to justify the most cruel forms of persecution against Jews.
Does he really believe that the SAJBD has the power to divert attention from the "real issue"? Diverting attention? Come on! It's almost as if he believes that the SAJBD in some devillish way holds the power to end the suffering of the Palestinians, but they are cunningly using this incident to "divert attention". His lack of condemnation and description of the remarks as "ill advised" places him shoulder to shoulder with Fatima in a crowd where it's ok to have these views, but "ill advised" and "foolish" to make them public. Thankfully, the ever-reliable David Saks was on hand to put Friedman back in his place.
|But political analyst Steven Friedman said that while the statement by Hajaig was “ill- advised”, the complaint was a red herring and the board was diverting attention from the real issue.
“What we should really be talking about is the aggressive campaign to camouflage the attempt by the Israelis to cower the Palestinians into sub- mission.”
He said the real human rights issue was that Israel was “destroying what may be the only democratically elected government in the Middle East with the exception of Lebanon”.
“If the South African Jewish Board of Deputies was as concerned about the deaths of more than 1000 innocent Palestinians as they are over the foolish remark of a junior minister, I would take their claims about concern for human rights more seriously.”
Responding, Saks said the two issues were entirely separate. “Whatever happens in a foreign conflict cannot justify racist attacks against Jews, especially by a government representative.
“Mr Friedman is frankly being wilfully blind to the shocking extent of Jew hatred masquerading as concern for Palestinian rights.”
He said the board’s position on the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict was that “the blame could be squarely laid at the door of the Hamas movement that provoked it”.
Irrespective of whether she issues a retraction of her statement and an apology, she should be sacked. As long as she is part of the South African government, they are a government which I can never trust.